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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  February 6, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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country, the embassy is now closed and britain recalled its ambassador. this is the city of homs, captured on cell phone video, under bombardment by the government. the 40-year dictatorship of the assad family. the uprising began in syria 11 months ago. the u.n. estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed, many of them civilians. why does syria matter? have a look at the neighborhood. what happens in syria will have big implications for neighboring israel and for the u.s. the government of bashar al-assad does not want the outside world to see what's happening inside syria. reporters are not welcome. but our clarissa ward managed to get in to introduce us to some of the rebels who are rising against the government. >> reporter: rebel forces here are preparing for the fight they know is coming their way. these men call themselves the
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syrian liberation army, though they have no military training. they claim to be in control of large parts of this syrian city which has been a hotbed of unrest since the uprising began nearly a year ago. abdul rahman is one of the group's leaders. is the goal of your group to protect the people in your area or is the goal to take down the regime? "our goal is to protect the people and to bring down the regime," he said. we went on a tour of the area rahman claims to have liberated from the syrian government. and all the people here are with you? this area is all your areas? >> yeah, my area. this one, this one, this one. the government cannot come. >> reporter: along this road, armed rebel fighters manned the checkpoints, not the syrian army. but just a few minutes later, we were stopped. regime forces had left a gruesome message by the side of the road. he's saying that this man was a
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political activist, that he was taken by the regime to a jail, shot in the head and he's now been dumped by the highway. at the local hospital there is a constant flow of injuries and fatalities. victims, people here say, of government snipers. but still they gather every night to shout their defiance and demand an end to the regime and every night gun battles erupt all around the city. men have just had word that regime forces have surrounded some rebels. we can now hear on the loudspeaker they're calling people to come together and go and fight. the syrian liberation army set out to answer the call with light webs and heavy hearts they stood guard on their street corner, brave defenders of their community but no match for the syrian army when it comes. scott, as you can see, the city behind me is now relatively calm but we have been hering spore rat i can bursts of dun fire and
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it's important to remember that while some neighborhoods may be under rebel control, this entire city is still surrounded by government forces. >> pelley: clarissa, you suggested in your story these forces you're are no match for the syrian army but tell me, what are they up against? >> reporter: you're dealing with a group of men armed with kalashnikovs, they have some r.p.g.s, very crudely made homemade bombs. but the syrian army have tanks, they have artillery and the greatest fear for these men on the ground is that the syrian army will launch air assaults and, of course, it's impossible for them to match that sort of force in any way. >> pelley: we're not talking about precisely where you are for the security of you and your team. but tell me, what is it like to be a resident of that town tonight? >> reporter: i think there are two things that are motion striking here. the first is that everybody lives in a constant state of fear here. the second is that the entire concept of daily life is
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paralyzed. schools are closed, people aren't working anymore. the only thing that people live through now is this idea of the revolution and they there's still no sense here of when there might be some progress and life might start to go on as normal. >> pelley: areedly there any sign there is tonight that the syrian forces are going to move against the town where you are? >> reporter: scott, there's a town about six miles away where some of the hardest fighting has been going on and there's certainly a very real fear on the ground that troops are going to push on into that town and after they pass that town they're headed right for this city. >> pelley: clarissa ward, thank you very much. this past saturday the united states and the arab league supported a u.n. security council resolution that called on assad to step down but the resolution failed when russia and china vetoed it. after the arab spring toppled egypt's dictator last year, several american organizations went to cairo to teach democracy
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to a society planning its first free elections. now several of those americans are being charged in egypt with inciting recent protests against the military council that runs the country. concern at the white house is growing and norah o'donnell is there with more on that. norah? >> reporter: scott, the white house said today these americans have done absolutely nothing wrong. they are in egypt to promote democracy, human rights and fair elections. but that is no reason to investigate them. as stone-throwing protesters clashed with egyptian police today, 17 americans are facing charges of encouraging the unrest that has engulfed the country for nearly a year. one of them is the son of ray lahood, president obama's transportation secretary. sam lahood heads the egypt office for the international republican institute and is now forbidden to leave cairo. were you surprised when you saw your name on the list? >> i was surprised. so was my wife.
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>> reporter: other americans like charles dunne were safely at home in washington, d.c. when the charges were announced. as a director of the pro-democracy group freedom house, dunne was cited for operating in the country without a license. the egyptian government is accusing you and others of fomenting this unrest plaguing egypt. >> right. of course, we're doing nothing of the kind. this is completely trumped up political charges. >> reporter: if convicted, the americans could face up to five years in prison. and today white house press secretary jay carney indicated that $1.5 billion in u.s. foreign aid to egypt could now be in jeopardy. >> we have made clear both in our public statements and private communications how seriously we take this and that these actions could have consequences for our relationship and for our assistance programs. >> reporter: of those 17 americans charged, we are learning new details about their whereabouts, scott. about half of them were able to leave egypt before these charges
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were announced, but the rest of them, they're stuck in egypt and some of them, including sam lahood, are holed up inside the u.s. embassy in cairo. >> pelley: in the u.s. embassy they're beyond the reach of the egyptian authorities. norah, i wonder, when we see jay carney at the briefing talking about withholding aid to egypt, how significant is that? >> reporter: it's extremely significant. of course, egypt has been a critical ally in the middle east for decades. but last year for the first time congress said no more blank checks to egypt and they put some conditions on the more than billion dollars in aid we send egypt. well, now egypt has to comply with those pro-reform conditions and that's why the state department, the obama administration, everybody is saying look, if egypt doesn't comply, if they continue to investigate these americans, prevent them from leaving the country that aid is on the line. scott? >> pelley: knorr, a thanks very much. the president, as you know, has been trying to force iran to
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give up its nuclear weapons program. today the white house said that it's tightening the economic sanctions against one of iran's banks and freezing all assets owned in the u.s. by iran's central bank. in the presidential campaign, mitt romney's big win in nevada on saturday has given him a widening lead in the delegate race. he now has 94. newt gingrich is way back with 30. both are still far from the 1,144 needed for the nomination. jan crawford is in colorado where the republicans will be caucusing tomorrow. jan? >> reporter: well, good evening, scott. with that landslide victory in nevada, romney's got all the momentum but newt gingrich, the former front-runner, says he is coming back. reporters at a campaign stop today in colorado may want gingrich, but republican voters many the last two states have not.
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instead of consistently delivering a strong conservative message, gingrich has been complaining about romney, even calling him a liar. >> he decides to lie about my career. i mean, there's something about the hypocrisy that should make every american angry. >> reporter: voters didn't like it. gingrich was blown out in florida and lost badly in nevada to romney and his campaign organization. and the next six states in february aren't any more favorable. that's led supporters like judson phillips, founder of the tea party nation, to hit the panic button. today phillips called gingrich's campaign a disaster. former house majority leader dick armey, who has not endorsed a candidate, is equally blunt. >> i think he's digressed into a state of taking a second-rate campaign and turning it into a first-rate vendetta. >> reporter: gingrich says he is retooling his campaign to draw a sharp contrast are with romney, defining himself as the true conservative candidate, a message that worked for him in south carolina. >> the elite media would love to
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talk us into nominating another moderate. >> reporter: gingrich think it is tide will turn in his favor in march when more southern states are voting like georgia and tennessee beginning on super tuesday. but now with gingrich's stumbles romney is turning his fire to rorp. he's been campaigning hard as the conservative alternative to romney and, scott, the polls show he could edge gingrich in the three states that vote tomorrow. >> pelley: and those states are colorado, missouri, and minnesota. thanks, jan. in this winter that wasn't, natural gas prices are at ten-year lows. so why is heating oil so high? government workers accused of collecting unemployment benefits on the job. and inside the air marshal force. taking down terrorists at 30,000 feet when the "cbs evening news" continues.[ mal and hello to "whoa, yum." use campbell's cream of chicken soup to make easy enchiladas,
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where her money is going. she hired an energy efficiency expert to inspect her long island home. >> your heat is literally going right through the roof. >> reporter: so you can see your money flying out of your pocket! she's paid $700 for heating oil so far this winter. 19% more than last year. >> i'm just hoping to be able to get the most bank bang for my buck. >> reporter: this winter, an average gallon will cost $3.79, that's 41 cents more than a year ago. analysts blame the price rally on iran's threats to close to entrance to the persian gulf. and the demand for diesel and heating oil from growing economies. at the same time, financial problems have forced europe's largest independent refiner to announce temporary shutdowns of three refineries. the timing of all this could not be worse for many americans >> a low-income family is struggling desperately to try to fill their oil tank. >> reporter: john wells runs a
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boston program that helps the needy pay their heating bills. this record, a nine million households are expected to apply for assistance as congress has cut the federal heating aid program by 25%. >> the resources they normally would have had they've already exhausted even with the mild winter. >> reporter: they have to sacrifice something else. >> they're doing that right now. they're sacrificing food. they're sacrificing their medicines. >> reporter: aid cuts have forced vietnam veteran john murphy to lower his thermostat. >> it was 11 the other night. it was 11. i had it on 66. >> reporter: murphy has cancer and now spends most of his day under an electric blanket in the one room he can afford to heat. >> cutting back on fuel assistance in the northeast during the winter months is dirty pool as far as i'm concerned. >> reporter: murphy's counting on new england's mild winter to last. his heater's already burned through the $1,000 in fuel aid that was
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supposed to last until spring. michelle miller, cbs news, boston. >> pelley: well, sports titles are supposed to last, but today spanish cyclist alberto contador was stripped of his victory in the 2010 tour de france. the top court for sports arbitration found contador guilty of using a performance enhancing drug. contador blames contaminated meat for his positive test. on friday, federal prosecutors declined to charge seven-time tour winner lance armstrong following a nearly two-year doping investigation. we take you next where few cameras have gone before-- inside the training program for air marshals. [ slap! slap! ] [ male announcer ] your favorite foods fighting you? fight back fast with tums. calcium rich tums goes to work in seconds. nothing works faster. ♪ tum tum tum tum tums flavor,
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travelers became a priority after 9/11 so ten years ago this month the new transportation security administration took over aviation security. on the front lines high above are the federal air marshals. bob orr gives us a rare look inside their program. >> reporter: to take it as federal air marshals, recruits must be able to run up evacuation slides, outscore federal agents on gun ranges, learn how to react in life-or-death circumstances on crowded airplanes with no backup. joseph d'angelilio is in charge of air marshal training. what kind of person are you looking for?
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>> someone who doesn't live in a black-and-white world because at 35 35,000 feet, we don't give them black-and-white answers. >> reporter: suspects spend 120 hours training with weapons and, as this tape provided by the air marshals show, recruits endure a rigorous mix of martial arts and rigorous exercises. threat cans emerge without warning, complacency is an enemy. the program was languishing before 9/11. on the day of the attacks, there were only 33 federal air marshals. now there are thousands. the exact number is classified. but in the past two years alone, 25 new classes have gone through this training facility. >> i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> reporter: the most recent graduates just got their badges from homeland security secretary janet napolitano. since the federal air marshals are america's most secret federal police force, we cannot identify them. anonymity is critical for air marshals to blend in with the 1.
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million people who fly each day. >> there's a game that's been played ever since 9/11 "pick out the air marshals." it's a great game because people assume that's everywhere. >> reporter: you like that. >> it's a great force multiplier. >> reporter: air marshal kimberly thompson flew for eight years. she says air marshals are taught to scan for potential threats. >> we're looking continually at the passengers around us, passengers going into the restrooms or moving about the cabins for any given reason to determine why is that person getting out of their seat. >> reporter: despite the force buildup, federal air mash shls still cover just a fraction of the 30,000 daily flights in the u.s. over the past decade, they've made few arrests and have never fired a weapon in flight. but air marshals cannot lower their guard knowing that aviation remains the top target of terrorists. bob orr, cbs news, atlantic city >> pelley: the air marshal service was formed during the kennedy administration to stop
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hijackings to cuba. the first class graduated 50 years ago next month. the district of columbia suspended about 90 workers today. officials say they were collecting unemployment benefits while they were on the job. the alleged scam netted $800,000 in all. the workers could be fired and face criminal charges. a milestone fit for a queen. mark phillips has her story next.
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>> pelley: once upon a time-- 60 years ago today-- a young princess learned she had just become queen, queen of england. her mother sent her this message "all my thoughts and prayers are with you, signed, mommy." now, as elizabeth ii celebrates her diamond jubilee, mark phillips tells the story of one of the longest-reigning monarchs. >> reporter: in a market town in eastern england, the small woman in a big hat is greeted by officials in ceremonial robes-- just like she's been doing for 60 years. some things haven't changed in the time queen elizabeth has been on the throne. certainly not the dedication to duty she promised again today as
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she had done long ago. >> whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service. >> reporter: it's been long. she's 85 now. she was just a 25-year-old princess when her father, king george vi, sent her off on a world tour where, on a stop in africa, she learned he had died and she was the new queen. a queen not just for a new age but, says royal writer robert hardman, for many new ages. >> this is the first monarch who's reigned through a modern media age. who's reigned through so much social change. who's reigned through from the cold war, through the jet age and the space age, the digital age. you name it, she has seen pretty much the 20th century firsthand and she's still going strong. >> reporter: they don't do job approval ratings on monarchs but 12 british prime ministers and an even dozen american presidents later few public
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figures have been so popular for so long. the prime ministers and president this is queen is now working with weren't even born when she came to power. with nothing left to prove, she should be somewhere warm beside the royal fire on a cold winter's day, but she can still the royal fire on a cold winter's day, but she can still give lessons in dedication to public service. for all its privilege, it's not easy being queen says royal historian kate williams. >> it's an exhausting job to stand all day, smile all day, you have to be on camera. you have to be playing the role as queen, never get a moment off >> reporter: and never retire. mark phillips, cbs news, kings lynn, england.
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now "entertainment tonight," the most watched entertainment news magazine in the world. did gisele's loose lips embarrass her husband tom brady. >> my husband cannot [ bleep ] throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time. >> ripping team's teammates. could it could a marital rip? >> the video is making headlines everywhere. >> and consoles tom just minutes after his super bowl loss. >> and madonna, climbing on her super bowl throne.


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